Once in the courtyard, Sokka ran and met up with his dad and Suki. Unfortunately, Zuko was nowhere to be seen. Sokka was internally very worried, but he couldn't let it show. He only hoped that Zuko would make it in time for the escape, because there was no way Sokka would be leaving without him.
Hakoda tried to start a prison riot to create a distraction, but his pathetic attempt immediately failed. Luckily, the random plot device character returned to the scene and forced Sokka to let him in on the escape plan yet again. To earn his inclusion in the plan, Sokka told him he had to start a prison riot, which he then did with ease. Hakoda was very impressed. Meanwhile, Suki had just realized, while watching Hakoda be all manly and stuff that she had a crush on him. She immediately decided that she would let Zuko have Sokka without a fight (and yes, she did know about the relationship. It's not like she's an idiot), but they would also continue with their cover story because of all the scandal involved in the truth.
While all this was going on, Zuko was still trapped in a cell with Mai. Oh the horror! Suddenly, the door opened a crash, and a guard entered.
"Ma'am! There's a prison riot going on! I have to protect you."
"I don't need your protection," Mai protested. Zuko, however, was very happy for this distraction. He shot fire at the guard's feet and ran out of the room, shutting the door forcefully. He gave Mai an apologetic look before running off to make sure Sokka hadn't been trampled in the riot.
Zuko spotted Sokka immediately and made a beeline for the group. He was attacked just as he reached Suki, but didn't even stop to think before chucking the man at a wall and continuing on his mission.
"Zuko. Good. Now we're all here. Now all we need to do is grab the warden and get to the gondola," Sokka said.
"And how are we going to do that?" Zuko asked him curiously.
"I'm not really sure."
"I thought you thought this through!"
"But I thought you said it was okay not to think everything through!"
"Maybe not everything...but this is kind of important!" Zuko cried, facepalming.
Sokka was very embarrassed. He hadn't meant to make Zuko mad at him so soon after they got together. At that moment though, the plot device character turned to face them and let them know that Suki was taking care of everything.
The Kyoshi warrior used her ninja skills to run across the heads of the prisoners in the courtyard to reach the balcony where the warden was standing. While she beat up some guards that stood around him, Hakoda stared at her with awe.
Soon enough, Suki finally got to the warden and managed to tie his arms behind his back. She threw him against the wall just as the rest of the group somehow managed to reach the balcony, too.
"That's some girl," Hakoda commented between pants and smiled.
"I know," Sokka said with admiration in his voice (but admiration only. We all know he loves Zuko, not Suki).
The plot-device character carried the warden over his shoulders and the group began to run toward the gondola. However, when they finally reached it, a few guards were standing around it. One shot fire in their direction and Zuko immediately pushed Sokka aside to protect him, even though Suki was the one in more danger since she was at the front of the group (next to Hakoda, of course).
Zuko used his manly skills to block the flames before yelling, "Back off!" He would do anything to protect his lover. The firebender announced that they had the warden, making the guards back off in an instant. They went past without a problem, and once they reached the gondola, everyone boarded except for Zuko, who stayed back to make sure the guards didn't attack from behind.
As the gondola began to leave, Sokka stood at the back with an extremely worried expression on his face. It was starting to look like Zuko wouldn't be able to make it. No one else seemed to care.
After Zuko destroyed the lever that made the gondola go, he took a running leap off of the platform and looked only at Sokka's face to alleviate his fear of falling to his death. Fortunately, Sokka saved the day by reaching out his hand and grabbing onto Zuko's forearm before he could fall. Even though the Water Tribe warrior couldn't see it, Suki looked murderous. Despite the fact that she supported their relationship completely, she still couldn't help but feel a little jealous.
Only a few moments after Sokka hauled Zuko into the gondola, they noticed that Azula and Ty Lee were standing back at the platform, and they instantly knew that there was going to be trouble. Just as suspected, the two girls gave chase after the gondola. Suki, Sokka, and Zuko all climbed onto the roof to meet their matches. While Suki dealt with Ty Lee, Zuko and Sokka turned to Azula.
During this fight, Hakoda realized how truly manly Suki was and became a pedophile. But anyway, as Zuko and Sokka fought Azula, Zuko continuously leapt in front of Sokka to protect him. Once Azula had fired a shot, Sokka would step forward to swing his sword threateningly before going back to the safety behind Zuko. He wasn't much help, but Zuko loved the feeling of being his guardian angel.
Suddenly, the warden managed to loosen the bonds around his hands, tug the gag from his mouth and yell, "Cut the lines!" The plot-device character was a bit late in attempting to strangle him, but did so after the warden had already shouted the order. As the guards on the platform stopped the gondola from moving, Sokka lost his balance and began sliding off the roof. Zuko darted forward and grabbed Sokka's hand. He held on tightly and refused to let go, even when Sokka had regained his balance.
Azula and Ty Lee noticed the guards cutting the line and came up with the solution of jumping onto another gondola that was passing at the right moment. Zuko, stunned by this, did nothing but continue holding Sokka's hand as they watched the girls with shock.
Zuko jumped back through the window of the gondola and yelled, "They're cutting the line!"
All of a sudden, the two guards sawing the line were pinned up by knives that had come out of nowhere and hit their sleeves.
"What are you doing?!" one of them yelled.
"Saving the jerk who dumped me," came the monotone voice of Mai. Two more guards rushed at Mai and began shooting fire, but she was able to take them all down with her knives. She leapt forward and kicked the swords that were jamming the gondola. Everyone was confused, but when Zuko looked to see what was happening, he was amazed to see was hero was in fact Mai.
Azula was not at all happy with this development, and Ty Lee was very conflicted. She knew that this would be a major decision in her life. She was going to be forced to pick between the two girls she loved. She didn't know what to do!
Sokka's little group reached the opposite shore just as Azula and Ty Lee's gondola arrived at the prison. Sokka, Zuko, Suki, Hakoda, and the random plot device character ran away at top speed, making sure to toss the warden roughly back into the gondola. Thinking ahead, Zuko realized that there was probably some airship parked somewhere, since Azula would've needed one to get to the prison in the first place. They ran for a little bit, but eventually found it.
Meanwhile, back on the prison platform, Mai had been caught by two guards and was being restrained while Azula questioned her. Azula sent the guards away before asking Mai why she helped the prisoners despite knowing the consequences of her betrayal.
"I guess I just love Zuko more than I fear you," Mai replied in a carefree tone. Really, Mai knew that she didn't really love Zuko, but she was sick of taking orders from Azula all the time. She could only hope that Ty Lee would take her side as well.
Azula and Mai moved to fight each other, but before anything could happen, Ty Lee jumped in with her superior fighting abilities and took Azula out. Mai was overjoyed, but refused to show it. Ty Lee immediately ran to Mai and tried tugging her away to escape, but Mai hesitated just a bit too long.
Guards began flowing onto the platform and captured Mai and Ty Lee. Azula, sad and betrayed, ordered the guards to imprison her former friends somewhere where she'd never have to see them again.
Hours later, all the escaped prisoners arrived at the Western Air Temple. Toph, Katara, and Aang were really surprised to see how many new people Sokka and Zuko had found on their fishing trip, but they didn't question it. That night, Sokka decided it would appropriate to sleep in Zuko's private bedroom.